Social housing changes will scrap long-term security for tenants

CONTROVERSIAL changes to social housing being brought in by New Forest District Council (NFDC) have been branded “draconian” by a charity.

New rules proposed by the council, aimed at easing the housing shortage, mean residents will no longer have the long-term security offered to those currently housed by the council.

Under new regulations, five-year fixed tenancies will be offered and tenants living in the wrong type of property, who can afford private|sector accommodation, or who repeatedly breach tenancy con-ditions, will not have tenancies renewed.

The strategy will come into force next year, but only for new tenants.

Exceptions to the rule include householders over the age of 65 in the New Forest or people with|certain disabilities, who will continue to have lifetime tenancies.

John Moreton, deputy director of Age Concern Hampshire, welcomed measures to protect over-65s and against antisocial behaviour, but was concerned about “insecurity for people approaching older age”.

“It could be disastrous for people to be moved out of a property they may have lived for the whole of their family life,” he said.

“That’s too draconian in my view – while we sympathise with the|problem, the solution is too drastic.”

Housing charity Shelter said things were heading towards a situation where only homeowners can put down roots long-term.

Kay Boycott, director of policy and communications at Shelter, said: “Increasingly, hard-working families will face a future in insecure, un-affordable private rented housing and with a wholly inadequate safety net should they hit difficulties.”

New Forest District Council said there is a shortage of affordable housing and the five years will strike the right balance between security for tenants and the best use of housing stock.

It said elderly or vulnerable tenants will be protected and, in most cases, have the certainty of a long-term home.

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10:19pm Mon 26 Nov 12

karlmarx says...

"New Forest District Council said there is a shortage of affordable housing and the five years will strike the right balance between security for tenants and the best use of housing stock."

Really?

"710,000 empty homes are currently empty in England according to the 2012 Empty Homes Stats!
The latest (November 2012)  empty homes statistics show that of these, 259,000 are  long- term empty (meaning they have been empty for more than six months)"

That's just England, the figure for the whole of the UK?...


"What about the rest of the UK?
We estimate that there are 920,000 empty homes across the UK, 330,000 of which are long term empty.  However Empty Homes statistics are collected at different times and are not officially published in Wales and Northern Ireland (although we have obtained the information ourselves) . Our estimate is simply a sum of the most recent official statistics  from each part of the UK."

Hardly a shortage of housing is it?
The real problem is getting these properties into the hands of people who are homeless and, out of the hands of people trying to make a quick buck. Once property speculation became the UKs leading income generator this situation we find ourselves in where, 1.8 million are on the social housing lists and, nearly 1 million homes lie empty, was inevitable.
"New Forest District Council said there is a shortage of affordable housing and the five years will strike the right balance between security for tenants and the best use of housing stock." Really? "710,000 empty homes are currently empty in England according to the 2012 Empty Homes Stats! The latest (November 2012)  empty homes statistics show that of these, 259,000 are  long- term empty (meaning they have been empty for more than six months)" That's just England, the figure for the whole of the UK?... "What about the rest of the UK? We estimate that there are 920,000 empty homes across the UK, 330,000 of which are long term empty.  However Empty Homes statistics are collected at different times and are not officially published in Wales and Northern Ireland (although we have obtained the information ourselves) . Our estimate is simply a sum of the most recent official statistics  from each part of the UK." Hardly a shortage of housing is it? The real problem is getting these properties into the hands of people who are homeless and, out of the hands of people trying to make a quick buck. Once property speculation became the UKs leading income generator this situation we find ourselves in where, 1.8 million are on the social housing lists and, nearly 1 million homes lie empty, was inevitable. karlmarx

12:26am Tue 27 Nov 12

Grampie says...

This policy stinks and will cause a lot of people a lot of heartache and expense.

Social engineering at its worse to kick people out of their homes and away from friends or family, because they work hard, get promotion and get paid more or have a bit of luck on the lottery.

Who are these horrible people who come up with these ideas?

I bet they never lived in social housing.
This policy stinks and will cause a lot of people a lot of heartache and expense. Social engineering at its worse to kick people out of their homes and away from friends or family, because they work hard, get promotion and get paid more or have a bit of luck on the lottery. Who are these horrible people who come up with these ideas? I bet they never lived in social housing. Grampie

3:37pm Tue 27 Nov 12

reasonedhuman says...

Lets get away from the thinking that people should be entitled to long term affordable/social housing...

Social housing should be a stepping stone or a fall back position for those who find themselves falling on hard times - not as a permanent solution or home for life.

I do agree with the points that 'Karlmarx' is making though - I think it is disgusting the amount of property that is standing empty in the UK - yes some of it is commercial but a good percentage will be residential. The owner of these properties should be charged a large value weighted tax on empty properties - this would do two things; It would firstly create a higher amount of income for the government which could go towards either improving the standard of current social housing or towards filling the shortfall in some areas. Secondly it would make it a less favourable option to leave your property sat empty.

Even if the property instead of being empty is sat in the private rental market that is a good thing to. The reason private rental prices are so high in some area is because demand outstrips supply - 3/4 people after each property - if the supply was to increase then the rent levels charged would level out or even decrease because of competition.
Lets get away from the thinking that people should be entitled to long term affordable/social housing... Social housing should be a stepping stone or a fall back position for those who find themselves falling on hard times - not as a permanent solution or home for life. I do agree with the points that 'Karlmarx' is making though - I think it is disgusting the amount of property that is standing empty in the UK - yes some of it is commercial but a good percentage will be residential. The owner of these properties should be charged a large value weighted tax on empty properties - this would do two things; It would firstly create a higher amount of income for the government which could go towards either improving the standard of current social housing or towards filling the shortfall in some areas. Secondly it would make it a less favourable option to leave your property sat empty. Even if the property instead of being empty is sat in the private rental market that is a good thing to. The reason private rental prices are so high in some area is because demand outstrips supply - 3/4 people after each property - if the supply was to increase then the rent levels charged would level out or even decrease because of competition. reasonedhuman

3:54pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Dr S Brule says...

A few points as housing is an interest of mine.

Firstly - Whilst the statistics that our most favorite german posted - they paint a picture, however, I am not sure as to their worth. Houses need to built in suitable locations - close to areas of employment, and so on.

Secondly, it is a common misconception that "affordable" homes and "social housing" are the same thing. They are not.

Affordable homes is the term used by the council and developers in the context of the section 106 agreement - a provision has to made for an amount of homes to be "affordable" - this varies from area to area.

Thirdly - houses need to be built! You can blame the government, but you'd be misguided. Those who are to blame are the comfortable, established families who object to planning applications on spurious grounds.

I have little but contempt for those that object to houses being built on the grounds of the environment, traffic, or whatever coded language is used for "we already have a house, and we want it's value to increase. f*** the rest"
A few points as housing is an interest of mine. Firstly - Whilst the statistics that our most favorite german posted - they paint a picture, however, I am not sure as to their worth. Houses need to built in suitable locations - close to areas of employment, and so on. Secondly, it is a common misconception that "affordable" homes and "social housing" are the same thing. They are not. Affordable homes is the term used by the council and developers in the context of the section 106 agreement - a provision has to made for an amount of homes to be "affordable" - this varies from area to area. Thirdly - houses need to be built! You can blame the government, but you'd be misguided. Those who are to blame are the comfortable, established families who object to planning applications on spurious grounds. I have little but contempt for those that object to houses being built on the grounds of the environment, traffic, or whatever coded language is used for "we already have a house, and we want it's value to increase. f*** the rest" Dr S Brule

4:31pm Tue 27 Nov 12

reasonedhuman says...

It is the government and local authorities who group social and affordable housing in together - most ask for a percentage drawn up in your aforementioned 106 agreement must be social/affordable housing.

IN the context of this subject though yes they are different, but both can solve the current problem.

Affordable housing allows those who earn a decent income move from rented/social housing into a house that they own either outright or in a shared ownership or other related scheme.

Social housing provides a fall back position for those who fall on hard times.

Don't get me started on the not in my back yard bit - we need more housing, some of it affordable or attached to first time buyer time schemes, it needs to go in areas that are not already built on - there is no where else for it to go...
It is the government and local authorities who group social and affordable housing in together - most ask for a percentage drawn up in your aforementioned 106 agreement must be social/affordable housing. IN the context of this subject though yes they are different, but both can solve the current problem. Affordable housing allows those who earn a decent income move from rented/social housing into a house that they own either outright or in a shared ownership or other related scheme. Social housing provides a fall back position for those who fall on hard times. Don't get me started on the not in my back yard bit - we need more housing, some of it affordable or attached to first time buyer time schemes, it needs to go in areas that are not already built on - there is no where else for it to go... reasonedhuman

4:58pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Grampie says...

"Social housing provides a fall back position for those who fall on hard times."

I am not sure what world you live in, but that statement has only appeared since the present government has been in power. It is one of the latest buzzwords/phrases used to denigrate ordinary people.

Social housing is mainly for people who cannot afford to buy their own houses and enables people to have security of tenure with a provider that is not based on profit or exploitation.

Social housing forms the center of many communities and to say it is only for those who fall on hard times is ridiculous.

This latest of a string of stupid policies will result in people and their families being told to move away from their family and friends and general social circles, because they have worked hard to earn a decent wage and to improve their lot.

In other words, go and rent off someone who can make a profit from you.

What happens if these so called better off people lose their job? Do they then apply to have their council house back, or does their housing benefit go in the pockets of private landlords?

I wish more people would get excited about our MP claiming £24,000 accommodation costs when he earns over £62,000 a year
"Social housing provides a fall back position for those who fall on hard times." I am not sure what world you live in, but that statement has only appeared since the present government has been in power. It is one of the latest buzzwords/phrases used to denigrate ordinary people. Social housing is mainly for people who cannot afford to buy their own houses and enables people to have security of tenure with a provider that is not based on profit or exploitation. Social housing forms the center of many communities and to say it is only for those who fall on hard times is ridiculous. This latest of a string of stupid policies will result in people and their families being told to move away from their family and friends and general social circles, because they have worked hard to earn a decent wage and to improve their lot. In other words, go and rent off someone who can make a profit from you. What happens if these so called better off people lose their job? Do they then apply to have their council house back, or does their housing benefit go in the pockets of private landlords? I wish more people would get excited about our MP claiming £24,000 accommodation costs when he earns over £62,000 a year Grampie

7:40pm Tue 27 Nov 12

markwillt says...

a nation of hatred to our neighbours,
a nation of hatred to our neighbours, markwillt

10:36pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Grampie says...

markwillt wrote:
a nation of hatred to our neighbours,
So true. This is becoming a very divided society. The havelots are squeezing the workalots and the don'thavemuchalots.

Whatever happened to our compassionate society where everybody had a role to play and we were tolerant of those around us?
[quote][p][bold]markwillt[/bold] wrote: a nation of hatred to our neighbours,[/p][/quote]So true. This is becoming a very divided society. The havelots are squeezing the workalots and the don'thavemuchalots. Whatever happened to our compassionate society where everybody had a role to play and we were tolerant of those around us? Grampie

3:38pm Wed 28 Nov 12

karlmarx says...

A point to note regarding 'affordable' housing. This is a problem whereby certain local people find housing unaffordable but others living outside the area find it very affordable and use the property as a second home, rental property or holiday home. Good for them, bad for the locals who can't afford the affordable housing. They will either end up in social housing schemes or paying the sky rocketing private sector rents. Either way they lose.
A point to note regarding 'affordable' housing. This is a problem whereby certain local people find housing unaffordable but others living outside the area find it very affordable and use the property as a second home, rental property or holiday home. Good for them, bad for the locals who can't afford the affordable housing. They will either end up in social housing schemes or paying the sky rocketing private sector rents. Either way they lose. karlmarx

3:56pm Wed 28 Nov 12

karlmarx says...

None of the 920,000 empty properties are commercial properties however, a large percentage are attached to commercial property, i.e. above an empty shop. Yes, a large percentage again are in need of refurbishment however, this is considerably cheaper than new builds.
The housing benefit bill could be slashed in half with a little joined up thinking and doing. After all, it's your money being wasted under the current system of 'wait and see'.
None of the 920,000 empty properties are commercial properties however, a large percentage are attached to commercial property, i.e. above an empty shop. Yes, a large percentage again are in need of refurbishment however, this is considerably cheaper than new builds. The housing benefit bill could be slashed in half with a little joined up thinking and doing. After all, it's your money being wasted under the current system of 'wait and see'. karlmarx

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